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Let our East Coast Team Spirit affect you
Our staff proudly represents the best of the well-known Canadian East Coast hospitality. Enthusiastic, entertaining, loving, caring, open-minded, generous, international and free-spirited, they’re living our company values. In other words, for us it is important to us make a positive impact in the world. We thus believe in inclusiveness, equality, the sanctity of nature and the beauty in human interaction.
An East Coast founding story – Over 20 years ago
NovaShores Adventures was founded in 2000 by nature lover Werner Ostermann. Guiding one of his tours, he met his Danish wife Else Marie. She then added an extraordinary culinary component to the business, and they nurtured the company together very successfully and with attention to detail.
Looking for more pristine wilderness away from any human-built structures, they came upon Cape Chignecto Park while on a weekend getaway. They knew they wanted to live and work immersed in its rugged natural beauty. So they sold everything in East Dover by Halifax and moved to off-the-beaten-path Advocate Harbour full time, trusting that paddlers would still find them. And they did! The small company’s tours booked up every summer. When early retirement and West Coast boat life beckoned, their long-term guide Anne Grabinsky took over the business and continued to gently grow it. Now, around 10 staff work here seasonally, and many of them return every summer to the NovaShores family.
Meet our experienced and dedicated crew below.
Anne Grabinsky, Owner Operator
Anne, originally from the Berlin area, Germany, left her academic career in social history in 2007 to guide full time. She since has led hiking and kayaking trips in Patagonia, Corsica, Greenland, Southeast Asia and on Vancouver Island. She also co-owned a safari company in southern Africa before she discovered the Bay of Fundy and made her home here.
Committed to providing an exceptional experience to everybody who paddles with NovaShores, Anne now works mostly at home-base managing operations, looking after guests and tending her extensive vegetable garden. She still likes to go explore in the off-season, and is in love with stand-up paddling in her winter home in Mexico and river rafting in Alaska, where her husband Kienan keeps an off-grid homestead.
Kurtis Miller, OVERNIGHT guide
Kurtis is originally from central Ontario but found himself moving to the Ottawa Valley to pursue a Diploma in Outdoor Adventure at Algonquin College. After graduating, Kurtis worked as a commercial raft guide for multiple seasons on rivers in British Columbia, as well as guiding trips through the Daintree rainforest in Australia. Then, he was looking for a work environment that felt more like family, and found us here in this beautiful corner of Nova Scotia. Guests on our multi-day tours love his caring and easygoing attitude, and his attention to detail.
During winter, Kurtis usually works in Western Canada instructing both kids and adults in skiing and snowboarding. This past winter, he went adventuring in Nepal.
Megan Phillips, Sea Kayaking Guide
Born and raised just outside of Montreal, Megan left home two years ago to study Adventure Tourism on the beautiful peninsula of Gaspé in eastern Québec. She loves being surrounded by water and decided to come out to guide kayaking tours on the Bay of Fundy for her internship and beyond. She is excited for this guiding season, she says, and for being part of our fun team and discovering more of the Bay of Fundy. We’re surely excited to have her as her references are excellent and she is a great person to be around! The representation of women in the outdoor industry is close to her heart, and we support this cause strongly. When not on the water, Megan loves playing volleyball, creating art with friends and cooking.
Rashid Ismail, Sea Kayaking Guide
Originally from Montreal, Rashid spent most of his life in Sherbrooke in south-eastern Quebec. His passion for physical activity and outdoor adventures brought him to the beautiful town of Gaspé, QC, where he now studies Adventure Tourism. Through the program he got his hands on a plethora of outdoor sports: backcountry skiing, sea kayaking, river canoeing and rafting – just to name a few. Rashid loves being on the water takes any opportunity to get out in his kayak. He enjoys documenting his adventures through his camera lens, but his favourite part of going out is sharing his passion of the outdoors with others.
Hayley Nuttall, Office Manager
Hayley is the soul of NovaShores, and you will at some point be lucky enough to talk to this friendly, witty lady on the phone or in person. A Dalhousie graduate in literature and film, she is a great conversationalist and runs the daily operations smoothly and with a lot of heart and attention to detail.
Not exactly an outdoor enthusiast herself, this Advocate native will provide you with all the information on the tours and the area you need, and is a legend for her daily motivational notes to the guides and team. She loves everything vintage and takes you back in time with her stunning 40s outfits. During the quieter winter months, Hayley likes exploring Europe.
Damien Mahoney, Overnight Guide
Damien loves going on longer trips and getting to know his guests on multi-day tours. This friendly and easy-going overnight guide grew up in the area and called Moncton and Amherst home before relocating to a more scenic and rural location in our area. He is a dad of two beautiful kids and numerous fur babies. A nature lover and fisherman, he has a keen eye for wildlife, and gets creative when it comes to whipping up 3-course outdoor meals.
Jana Avram, Sea Kayaking Guide
Jana was born and raised in Saskatchewan and didn’t experience the wonder of the ocean until early adulthood. After spending a summer on Vancouver Island and getting inspired, she completed the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Program on the West Coast, learning and building skills in kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. As she hasn’t spent time on Canada’s East Coast before Jana is beyond stoked to get to know another part of the country and to guide people into experiencing the outdoors.
Brooklyn Nuttall, Kitchen Manager
Brooke grew up in Advocate Harbour and now attends university on PEI where she is studying biology. She enjoys academics, spending time with her puppy, reading, and she is also an enthusiastic soccer player. She says she likes working as well, and it shows! Brooke is very can-do, with a strong-minded and optimistic spirit and an exceptional work ethic. We love her straightforward way and positive personality.
Jenna MacGillivary, Food & Logistics
Jenna was born and raised in Advocate Harbour, where she excelled in school and on the girls’ soccer team. She is now studying Kinesiology at UNB in Fredericton, NB, and is happy cannot wait to attend university in person. She loves going on runs and combing the beaches for sea glass. We love her ever-positive outlook on life, can-do attitude and her commitment to what she is doing. She is a great chef, will make sure you have everything you need on your tour, outfit you with the right gear and just generally make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Megan Johnson, Food & Garden
Megan grew up in nearby Parrsboro and then left for Halifax to study herbalism and wholistic medicine. Her family used to own a summer cottage in Advocate Harbour, and she missed the simple rural life close to nature when she lived in the city. Looking for ways to move back, she found us and decided to train as a kayaking guide. After guiding for several seasons, she became the mom to two precious little girls (together with dad Damien). This called for a break to nurture her new little family, but now she’s back! We’re stoked to have her prepping food and tend the garden as she is excellent at both.
Jobs - We're hiring for the 2024 season!
NovaShores is accepting applications for the following 2024 seasonal job openings:
Certified, experienced day tour and overnight KAYAK GUIDES
June or July until August or September.
Minimum qualifications: Wilderness First Aid & Paddle Canada Level 2, SKGABC AOG or similar.
- Experienced drivers only.
- Must hold a Canadian passport or permanent residency card.
FOOD PREP STAFF
- June or July until August or September.
- Must be able to work independently and without supervision.
- Tasks include baking, cooking, meal prep, packing food for day- and overnight tours, clean-up and keeping an inventory of food stored.
- Must hold a Canadian passport or permanent residency card.
- Competitive pay based on level of experience and seasons worked with us
- Family-style, eco-friendly work environment
- Smoothly running operations
- Reliable, approachable management
- The great outdoors right at your doorstep
- Calm & peace
- Fresh, organic food
Blackie, head of the house
Blackie is the sweetest guy, and loves people. Big groups scare him, but otherwise he’ll try and snuggle up – unless he’s napping somewhere. He was born at NovaShores as a stray kitten, and now he rules the roost here. He is allowed in everywhere but the guest room.